When it comes to staying active, some people prefer to stay within their comfort zone and work out by themselves. Then there are those of us that prefer to workout in a group setting, compelled to sign up for group marathons, outdoor yoga classes, pilates, and kickboxing classes. These individuals thrive off of the support they receive from others, helping them gain the motivation required to achieve their personal fitness goals.
Often, the biggest motivator in fitness is a sense of community — and that’s exactly what Spinunity stands for and strives to provide its customers.
Jeff and Jordan opened the doors of Spinunity in March of 2014. Their main goal was to create a welcoming fitness centre for group exercises. After experiencing the often cold and intimidating atmospheres that many ‘big box’ gyms offered, they were determined to create a different, inclusive and more positive workout environment. Not only does their Sioux Road location provide this, in addition to all the standard amenities one would expect a gym to have, it also offers childcare during the day. This way, parents can work out while having their child nearby.
We had a chance to have a quick chat with Jeff about Spinunity, how it all started and how Lending Loop was able to help them with their business goals, and what’s next for their business.
How did you come up with the concept of Spinunity?
It all started with a magazine article! My wife Jordan, was reading Vogue magazine, specifically an article about SoulCycle, a well-known boutique spin studio from the US which caught her attention. We inquired about franchise opportunities, but they weren’t investing in Canada at that time. So we decided to build our concept from scratch. That was 6 years ago and now we have a wonderful studio in the Sherwood Park community.
How has the business grown in the past 6 years?
The first few years were tough. We built big and with that came challenges with cash flow. We also didn’t have much mentorship in the beginning. When we opened up the studio, we were both still working our full-time jobs. Then, I left the corporate world to take over all aspects of Spinunity. I did bookkeeping, management and also became an instructor. I focused a lot more on the business and embraced the learnings. Taking over the company was actually the best decision we ever made.
Seeking financing was another challenge. One of the huge things for us was the ability to lower our expenses and interest payments. We wanted to have the ability to manage cash flow. Lending Loop actually provided us with tremendous flexibility and we were able to save $1500 per month in expenses by refinancing our existing debt with a more affordable loan.
What role does Spinunity play in the community?
Our goal was always to be part of the fitness and health community. When we started, we wanted to help everyone as much as we could. We had a lot of initiatives. Now that we are running the business full time, the studio itself has become a community. We are able to interact with the community everyday, impact and inspire them. We’re making people feel good about themselves, not just for that hou
r but they bring that positive energy forward, and that’s something I had never thought about before. But now I wake up every morning thinking about that very thing — how to have a positive impact on people today.
To give you a better picture, you get in a room with 30 people who all come from different backgrounds and have different stories to tell. But at the core of it all, something brings them together that’s very compelling and a real drive to keep them going. It’s the cheapest therapy you can find.
What’s your future vision for the company? What’s next for Spinunity?
We finally stabilized the company over the past few years. We’ve been able to sustain it. The goal now is to get out of debt as soon as possible over the next few years. For us, it’s still a struggle at times. We’ve got to lower payments, focus on cash flow. If we can get our debt payments down, we will be able to make a better decision of what to do next with Spinunity.
The thing that defines Spinunity is the real sense of community. The ability to inspire people to become better leaders in the community. Lending Loop has given us the ability to stabilize things and we can focus more on our overall goals and mission, which is incredibly satisfying.
Need a loan to start or expand your business? Apply today!